Today’s debate is a brawl that can be seen on any power line. One is a feisty furry phenom who goes nuts for acorns, the other is a sleek, feathered enigma who represents the melancholy and mysterious. It’s Squirrels vs. Crows! In one corner we’ve got improviser, content creator, and “Good Luck High Five" podcast host Meghan Wolff ready to ruffle feathers for team crows! And here to chitter chatter for team squirrels is improviser, content creator, and also “Good Luck High Five” podcast host Maria Bartholdi. Vote below for the team YOU think won.

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SUBJECT: From the brains behind Brains On, it's Smash Boom Best.

SUBJECT: The show for people with big opinions.

MOLLY BLOOM: Hi. I'm Molly Bloom. And this is Smash Boom Best, the show where we take two things, smash them together, and ask you to decide which one is best. Today's debate features two animals who perch and run on power lines. In one corner, we've got a bushy rodent who goes nuts for acorns. In the other, a brilliant black bird associated with mystery and darkness. It's squirrels versus crows. Here to ruffle feathers for team crows is Megan Wolf.

MEGAN WOLF: Team crows is ready to soar.

MOLLY BLOOM: And here to chitter-chatter for team squirrels is Maria Bartholdi.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Thank you so much for having me. It means the squirld to me to be here today.

MOLLY BLOOM: So I hear you two are improvisers, media mavens, and co-hosts of an amazing podcast called Good Luck High Five. Please tell us about it.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Yes, it's about the game magic the gathering and we talk about it every week.

MEGAN WOLF: It's been going for 10 years, and it's always family friendly. So give it a listen with anybody you got around.

MOLLY BLOOM: Amazing. And also in the studio today, we have our judge Colin from Stillwater, Minnesota. Colin has five cats, is an avid player of Dungeons Dragons, and loves to tap dance. Hi, Colin.


MOLLY BLOOM: So, Colin, I have to ask, How did you end up owning five cats? And is your home perpetually covered in cat hair?

COLIN: So to answer your second question first, absolutely. Cat hair is everywhere. So we originally got two cats, Chloe and Cooper, and then a year later, we wanted more. So we got two more cats, Crimson and Clover.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK. So you have five cats.

COLIN: Five cats.

MOLLY BLOOM: They all have C names.

COLIN: C names.

MOLLY BLOOM: You have a C name.

COLIN: And my two sisters have a C name.



MOLLY BLOOM: Incredible. Is that on purpose?

COLIN: I believe so. I believe so. We wanted to name our cats with the same lingo.

MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah. So they can feel part of the family. I love it. OK. So you also play Dungeons and Dragons. Can you briefly describe the character you're currently playing as?

COLIN: I play a half elf with a magic staff, and I'm currently in a campaign with my two friends from middle school. We play in the shed in the backyard.

MOLLY BLOOM: Does your half elf character have a name?

COLIN: I'm still working on a name. I've been going through some names.

MOLLY BLOOM: May I suggest a name that begins with a C.

COLIN: Oh, I didn't think about that, but absolutely.


COLIN: I will get back to you on that.

MOLLY BLOOM: We can brainstorm later in the show. So will Colin side with Maria or Megan? Who's to say? Colin, Are you ready to judge today's debate?

COLIN: Absolutely.

MOLLY BLOOM: Before we dive in, let's review the rules of the game. Every debate consists of four rounds of argumentation, the Declaration of Greatness, the micro around, the sneak attack, and the final six. After each round, our judge Colin will award points to the team that impresses him the most, but he'll keep his decisions top secret until the end of the debate. Listeners, we want you to judge too. Mark down your points as you listen. At the end of the show, head to our website and vote for whichever team you think won. OK. Maria, Megan, and Colin, Are you ready?



MARIA BARTHOLDI: Ab-squir-lutely.


MOLLY BLOOM: Then it's time for the--

SUBJECT: Declaration of Greatness.

MOLLY BLOOM: In this round, our debaters will present a well-crafted, immersive argument in favor of their side. Then they'll each have 30 seconds to rebut their opponent's statements. We flipped a coin, and, Megan, you're up first. Tell us why crows are ones you want to know.


AL: It's time for America's favorite game show. Crow or toddler.


Please welcome our next contestant, Marissa. Marissa, Are you ready?

MEGAN WOLF: Yes, I am, Al.

AL: Your job is to answer as many questions as you can in the time allotted. Remember, the answer is either crow or toddler. First question, Who makes tools to collect food?

MEGAN WOLF: A toddler.

AL: Oh, sorry. That's a crow.


AL: Next question, Who helps build their family's home and cares for their younger siblings?

MEGAN WOLF: I'm going to have to go with toddler again.

AL: No, it's a crow.


AL: Only one question left, but you've still got a chance. A gathering of which one, toddlers or crows, is known as a murder?

MEGAN WOLF: OK. This one is definitely crows.

AL: It's both.


AL: I'm kidding. It's crows. Congratulations. You've won several shiny objects. Join us next time for another installment of crow or toddlers.


MEGAN WOLF: So crow or toddler might not be America's favorite game show, but crows are some of the smartest and most resourceful animals around. In fact, some scientists who study them have found that crows won't fall for the same trick twice. You know the saying. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, you can't because I'm a crow. One study even showed that crows remember the specific faces of people who have wronged them. They pick those people out of a crowd and dive bomb them even seven years later. Gathering together to chase predators is actually a common crow behavior called mobbing. Lookout crows spot danger and use different calls to alert others, letting them know if they should hide, fly away, or gather together to mob the threat.

SUBJECT: COLIN: Coming up next, with an eye for faces and a taste for vengeance, this murder is out to solve a murder. Detective crow, PI.

SUBJECT: Hang on. That guy looks familiar. Wait, yes, that's the guy who stole a peanut from me seven years ago. Caw, caw, caw, caw.

MEGAN WOLF: Crows are also incredibly resourceful, often scavenging for food and eating a bunch of things from insects to berries. They'll even carry shellfish high up into the air and drop them to crack open their shells and eat them. And crows are one of the few animals who use tools. In one study, they were able to put together tools in just a few minutes and the crows were no tool fools. They would only assemble the tools when they needed them to reach food. In another study, crows could plan up to three moves ahead to put together tools and use them to get food from a puzzle. I bet you the only thing a squirrel could do in a puzzle box is get trapped.


SUBJECT: This week's challenge features a maze full of puzzles, food at the center, and only one tool for the job. It's the Crow-mazing Race.

SUBJECT: Oh, come on. They already solved it. Can we get another puzzle over here?

MEGAN WOLF: Crows are incredible, but don't just take my word for it. They've played important roles in different cultures for centuries. In some indigenous cultures, crows are spiritual messengers or lead people to safety if they're lost. In Irish mythology, the Badb, a crow goddess, uses her powers to create confusion and battle and spread chaos among troops. She can appear as a harbinger of doom, which is pretty metal.


I mean, What is a squirrel the harbinger of? The destruction of your garden? Crows, they're smart, they look out for their friends, and don't mess with them because they'll remember your face.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wow. A very smart declaration of greatness for some very intelligent creatures. Colin, What stood out to you about Megan's declaration of greatness?

COLIN: Well, I love learning about how crows would assemble tools.


COLIN: And make things to help them get food.

MOLLY BLOOM: That is really impressive. I don't know if I could do that. So good job, crows. OK. Maria, it is time for your rebuttal. Make like a scarecrow and shoo these bird brains away. You've got 30 seconds. And your time starts now.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: So Megan mentioned that crows remember a face for seven years and I can attest that that's true because they remembered my face and I was pooped on by a crow. I don't know if I did something seven years ago or whatever, but raise your hand, everyone who's listening, if you have personally been pooped on by a crow, OK? I just want them up there.

MEGAN WOLF: Let the record show no one in this room is raising their hands.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Well, I'm raising my hand and I am still salty about it all of these years later. Also, they are harbingers of doom. Their--

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: --caw sounds like a nightmare.

MEGAN WOLF: Maria, if a crow pooped on your face, it's because you wronged it. So truly, Who are you rebuttaling here? The crows or just yourself?

MARIA BARTHOLDI: All the crows of the world must pay.

MOLLY BLOOM: All right. This is a very personal debate. It's your turn, Maria. Please tell us why you're so nutty for squirrels.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: The first thing you hear is your heartbeat as you slowly step forward.


Then a heavy red curtain opening and the buzz of a massive spotlight as it hits your face. You're on stage in front of hundreds of people dressed as--


A pink squirrel.


And it is literally your dream role.


You've been obsessed with squirrels your entire life. The way they play tag with their friends, their impossibly fluffy tails, how their tiny black eyes stare directly into your soul as they devour a nut. It's your moment here and now, right on this stage, and you're absolutely crushing it.


I know this sounds like some kind of dreamy squirrel fantasy, but it actually happened to me when I was in high school and it was the proudest moment of my life because squirrels are amazing. They can be and do anything. But for the purposes of time, I'll focus on their three most incredible jobs. First off, squirrels are the world's greatest pirates.

SUBJECT: Avast, matey.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Squirrels may not sail the seven seas or have little squirrel peg legs, but they're just as skilled at finding treasure and stashing or squirreling it away. Gray squirrels can hide as many as 10,000 seeds and nuts in just one year. That's a lot of buried treasure. But how do they find it later? They don't have teeny tiny treasure maps, even though, yes, that would be very cute. Instead, squirrels have this incredible ability to map out where they've hidden their nuts using landmarks.

SUBJECT: Oh, no, Dan. Those squirrel pirates are back again.

SUBJECT: Oh, Nadine. Hide the good pistachios quick.

SUBJECT: Aha. Admirable attempt, humans, but we squirrels won't rest until we find your buried treasure.


MARIA BARTHOLDI: Squirrels are also the world's greatest pilots.

SUBJECT: Attention, this is your pilot speaking.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Have you heard about flying squirrels? They're amazing. But they should really be called gliding squirrels because they don't use wings to fly, they use flaps of skin to glide. Take that, crows. Wings are for flying on easy mode. Flying squirrels soar up to 160ft using nothing but thin pieces of skin stretched between their ankles and wrists. 160ft, that's half the length of a football field. And don't worry about squirrels falling. Because they're so small and can spread themselves out so wide, squirrels can survive a fall from any height whatsoever. Their body is basically a built in parachute.

SUBJECT: We're cruising at 30mph. Looking at winds out of the southeast. I hope you've enjoyed soaring through the treetops with Squirrel Air. You'd be nuts to fly with anyone else.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Flying squirrels are also amazingly cute. The Japanese dwarf flying squirrel is the cutest animal that has ever existed. Go ahead. Look it up now. I'll wait.



MARIA BARTHOLDI: And we're not done yet because squirrels are also the world's greatest detectives. There are regular Squir-lock Holmes.


The best squirrely sleuth is a species of prairie dog, which, yes, is a kind of ground squirrel. Prairie dogs communicate in a mysterious coded language that scientists are just starting to understand. In fact, it's been called the most sophisticated vocal language ever decoded, even better than chimps, dolphins, and orcas, and, yes, better than crows. Basically, prairie dogs use chirps to warn other members of their colony that a predator is approaching. Prairie dogs also have different calls for colors, heights, and shapes. Their language is so complex that they can say things like, here comes the short yellow triangle, or watch out for the tall blue square.


Pirates, pilots, and PI's. What can't squirrels do? So gladly, I stand before you now and make the case for the amazing squirrel. I don't have my pink squirrel costume from that high school play anymore. But if I did, I assure you, it would not fit. Either way, my love for squirrels remains steadfast, and I hope yours does too.



MOLLY BLOOM: A playful, passionate argument there for squirrels. Colin, What stood out to you about Maria's argument?

COLIN: Well, I loved the beginning, the part about theater. And 10,000 nuts, that's a lot.

MOLLY BLOOM: That's a lot of nuts. So, Maria, the theater, I want to know what was this role a part of the pink squirrel.

COLIN: Yeah.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Yeah. It was an original play called The Ark about Noah's Ark and I was one of the flying squirrels on the Ark.


MARIA BARTHOLDI: And I specifically requested that he write this part for me, and he did.

MOLLY BLOOM: Amazing. So that your love for squirrels dates way back.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Oh, yes. Lifelong.

MOLLY BLOOM: OK. Megan, it is time for your rebuttal. Tell us why squirrels are your number one rodent opponent. You've got 30 seconds. And your time starts now.

MEGAN WOLF: Did you know squirrels lose 25% of their buried food to thieves and lose even more to just forgetting where it is? While crows are over here living that sustainable, reduce, reuse, recycle lifestyle. And squirrels steal each other's food, that's nothing like the teamwork of crows. And squirrels have to be agile on the ground and glide because they don't have the greatest natural give of all, flight. I don't see Leonardo da Vinci or the Wright brothers working for years to try to jump real far.

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

MEGAN WOLF: But I would ride on a flying squirrel plane. You know what I mean? Like--


You're not going to cross half a football field.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Base jumping.


MOLLY BLOOM: OK. Colin, it is time to award some points. Please give one point to the declaration of greatness you liked best and one point to the rebuttal that won you over. You get to decide what makes a winning argument. Did one team's jokes make you giggle? Was another team's logic to die for? Award your points, but don't tell us who they're going to, both could go to the same person, or each person could get a point. Have you made your decision?

COLIN: I have.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. Maria and Megan, How are you two feeling so far?

MARIA BARTHOLDI: I'm just going to take a sip of my squirrel gray tea.


MEGAN WOLF: I mean, I'm just-- I just worry that I'm crowing too much about crows over here.


MOLLY BLOOM: All right. Well, it's time for a quick break. Head to your birdbath and nut stash.

COLIN: And we'll be right back with more Smash Boom Best.

SUBJECT: You're listening to state of debate home to raging rhetoric and awe inspiring argumentation.

TODD DOUGLAS: Hello, my debate darlings. I'm 457 time debate coach and cheerleader, Todd Douglas.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: And I'm Taylor Lincoln. Blah, blah, blah. You know the rest.

TODD DOUGLAS: Taylor, Are you OK, bud? What happened to your energy?

TAYLOR LINCOLN: It's these gray skies. I just can't seem to wake up today.

TODD DOUGLAS: Oh, I know it'll wake you up, a giant logical fallacy using a rodent.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: I'm intrigued.

TODD DOUGLAS: It's the anecdotal evidence fallacy.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Oh, that's when you use something that happened once to build a whole argument on. Bad idea.

TODD DOUGLAS: Let's take a listen.


PHIL: Oh, Phoebe, I'm so glad I caught you.

PHOEBE: Nope, not again, Phil.

PHIL: Well, I don't know if you heard.

PHOEBE: I don't want to hear it.

PHIL: But I stepped outside today--

PHOEBE: Please don't.

PHIL: And I saw my shadow. And that means it's definitely going to snow tomorrow. Might want to snuggle into your burrow.

PHOEBE: Phil, we are groundhogs, not meteorologists. Your shadow means nothing.

PHIL: Well, last week, I saw my shadow, and then the next day snow. See, my shadow knows all.

PHOEBE: Just because that happened once doesn't mean anything.


TAYLOR LINCOLN: You tell him, Phoebe. That woke me right up. Way to call out that fallacy.

TODD DOUGLAS: Yeah. I'm pretty sure shadows have to do with the angle of light, not a weather forecasting tool.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: My sinus headaches on the other hand.

TODD DOUGLAS: And that's all the time we have for today on State of Debate.




SUBJECT: Boom, boom.



SUBJECT: Boom, boom.





MOLLY BLOOM: You're listening to Smash Boom Best. I'm your host, Molly Bloom.

COLIN: And I'm your judge, Colin.

MOLLY BLOOM: And we love getting debate suggestions from our listeners. Take a listen to this magical debate idea from Isaac.

ISAAC: My debate idea is Lord of the Rings versus Harry Potter.

COLIN: What a spellbinding debate.

MOLLY BLOOM: We'll check back in at the end of this episode to see which side Isaac thinks should win.

COLIN: And now it's back to our debate, squirrels versus crows.

MOLLY BLOOM: That's right. And it's time for round two, the--

SUBJECT: Micro round.

MOLLY BLOOM: For the micro round challenge, each team has prepared a creative response to a prompt they received in advance. For Megan and Maria, the prompt was "running for mayor." Each side will deliver a speech to a city or town of their choosing about why they should be nominated for mayor. Megan went first last time, so, Maria, you're up. Tell us why we should vote for the squirrel party.


MARIA BARTHOLDI: Hello, denizens of this once fine city. My name is Maria Euphegenia Bartholdi. And I am proud to be running for mayor at a time when, let's face it, things are pretty bad. The robot overlords have wrested control from our human hands and the once rolling green meadows have become a vast expanse of techno garbage. But hope is not lost. The answer, dear citizens, is squirrels. Yes, squirrels. If we want to transform this robot-controlled trash heap into a vibrant paradise once again, we need to plant trees, and in this pursuit, squirrels are masterful. Lots of the nuts that squirrels bury end up sprouting into big, beautiful trees. It's true. Squirrels help forests regrow.

But how will we organize this effort under the watchful eye of our robot overlords, you ask? You guessed it. Squirrels again. You see these endless power lines crisscrossing our city, squirrels will act as our messengers secretly carrying action plans. And once our plan is in place, we attack. How? Oh, you know I'm going to say squirrels. Our furry little friends have teeth that can chew through almost anything, including the metal of our repulsive robot rulers. Did you know that squirrels front teeth never stop growing? They have to chew like mad to file their teeth down, just like your fingernails. The squirrels will never stop chewing until we are free.


Vote for me and together we will return to democracy. Oh, and don't forget to leave a bowl of acorns out tonight for our squirrel friends.



MOLLY BLOOM: Wow. Those squirrels are going to get us out of that dystopic future, I just know it. They have my vote. OK. Megan, now it's your turn. Let's hear how your side will lead a coalition.


MEGAN WOLF: I stand before the friend, not foe, and bid thee vote for me, Edgar Allen Crow. Caw. Seek out the tales of crows in books and lore, so magical are we that many people both fear and adore. So please vote for this crow. Your loyalty I now implore. Quoth the crows forevermore. No problem too big will there be if all you crows will vote for me. I will use beak talon and even more to scavenge for food on sky or floor. And when those don't suffice, I will construct a tool to do the job. We will remember faces of those who have hurt or helped in days of yore. And with these skills, I can provide and all our needs are answered for. Quoth the crows forevermore.

When predators prowl on their silent feet, searching for tasty birds to eat, when danger hunts and shadows lurk and sharp teeth snap at our front door, I will send out a mobbing cry, a vengeful call like a lion's roar and all the crows will rally round, every bird's safety we will fight for and peace for all our flock again restore. Quoth the crows forevermore.


MOLLY BLOOM: Wow. A rousing campaign slogan. Forever more, forever more years, four more years. Wow. OK, Edgar Allen Crow. You have my vote too. Luckily, I don't have to award any points. Colin, What stood out to you about Maria and Megan's micro rounds?

COLIN: Maria's micro round really made me envision this dystopic, really rundown robot overlord city. Megan's, I loved-- because I love reading Edgar Allen Poe, well, or should I say, crow.


And I loved all the references to all his different poems and whatnot.

MOLLY BLOOM: Very nice. OK, Colin. This is a tough decision, but it's time to award a point. The criteria are completely up to you. Did someone present a speech that's going to make you vote for their candidate? Were their facts in there? Did you like the style, the substance. It's up to you. Have you made your decision?

COLIN: Absolutely. Yes, I have.

MOLLY BLOOM: Fantastic Then it's time for our third round, the super stealthy--

SUBJECT: Ha-ha. Woo-ha.

SUBJECT: Sneak Attack.

MOLLY BLOOM: This is our improvised round where debaters have to respond to a challenge on the spot. Today's sneak attack is called On Broadway. Maria and Megan--


Maria and Megan, we want you to come up with a song from a Broadway musical starring your side. Tell us a bit about who's singing, where the song appears in the show, and then sing us a sample of the song. Is it a love ballad? Is it the finale? Is it a solo performance by the lead during their dark night of the soul moment? Totally up to you. All right. Maria and Megan, Does that make sense?




MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. OK. Maria went first last time. So, Megan, you are up. Tell us, Are crows songbirds or crooners?

MEGAN WOLF: I present for you the song Trapped And With Nothing To Eat.


MEGAN WOLF: And of course, this happens at the crux for our hero in its hero's journey and their hero's journey, our crow. They have been trapped in a puzzle box, of course.


MEGAN WOLF: And worse, they have nothing to eat. But fortunately, they have been classically underestimated by the villain of this story who left just some things that they would think were discarded, were trash. There's-- maybe there's some paperclips in there. There's some rocks in there. And during this song, while the crow is singing trapped and with nothing to eat, they are assembling a perfect tool to pick the lock of the cage that they have been trapped in.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh. I want to see this show. OK. Can we hear a little sample of Trapped With Nothing To Eat please?

MEGAN WOLF: Of course.

(SINGING) And if I just put this gum and I stick it to this paperclip

And then I twist and then I solve this problem with my tool

Crow tool


MOLLY BLOOM: Wow. I love it. That that's like the-- and they've been through the dark soul moment. They've made their tool. Wow.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: It's like MacGyver meets Cell Block Tango.

MOLLY BLOOM: Yes. Absolutely. Ooh, I'm going to be in the front row opening night. OK. Maria, please tell us what song lives in the heart of a squirrel.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Oh, yes. So this musical is in the style of Legally Blonde and a squirrel wants to get into Harvard to become a lawyer.


MARIA BARTHOLDI: And the name of the song is Hot Squirrel Summer because she's going to go there and impress the board--


MARIA BARTHOLDI: --with her squirrely moves on a high wire act. So she's not only singing and dancing, she's doing it on a wire and balancing with like a pole. So it's really, really hard for a human to do, but as a squirrel performer, she's able to pull it off in Hot Squirrel Summer.

MOLLY BLOOM: Incredible. Can we hear a sample of Hot Squirrel Summer please?



(SINGING) I want to get into Harvard please

Watch me dance and fly through the trees

I hope my essay is not a bummer

Because it's really time for hot squirrel summer

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, delightful.

MEGAN WOLF: I really can't wait until she discovers that she doesn't need her squirrel boyfriend.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Yeah. That is the really best moment of the show for sure.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wow. Incredible. I mean, I would let that squirrel into Harvard. I don't know about you.


OK. I'm going to go to that show too. Incredible. Colin, it is time. I know you love theater, you love Broadway. Based on the performances you just heard, it's time to award your fourth point. Please don't tell us who it's going to. Criteria are completely up to you. Have you made your decision?

COLIN: Yes, I have.

MOLLY BLOOM: Perfect. Then it's time for our final around.

SUBJECT: The Final Six.

MOLLY BLOOM: In this round, each team will have just six words to sum up the glory of their side. Maria, please give us six words that spell out squirrel superiority.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Squirrels, playful, pranksters, crows, poop, poop.


MEGAN WOLF: I feel like you can only think about one thing when it comes to crows, and that's hurtful.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: I tell you, if it happens to you, it's all you'll think about too.

COLIN: Right.

MEGAN WOLF: How do you know that they weren't framed?

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Framed, like another bird did it?

MEGAN WOLF: Like another bird pooped on you and then framed a crow for it.

COLIN: Who knows? Who knows?

MARIA BARTHOLDI: I guess it's possible.

MEGAN WOLF: It sounds like a case for detective crow bird PI.


MOLLY BLOOM: Amazing. All right. Megan, it is your turn. Let's hear your six words to help team crow fly to victory.

MEGAN WOLF: Squirrel eyes make problems. Crows solve problems.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, very good. OK. Colin, it is time to award a final point for this final six. It's a tough decision, I know. Both teams have represented their sides so admirably, and wonderfully, and compellingly, but only one of them can get this final point. Have you made your decision?

COLIN: I have made my decision.

MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. Are you ready to crown one team the Smash Boom Best?

COLIN: Absolutely.

MOLLY BLOOM: Drum roll please.


And the winner is--

COLIN: Squirrels.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Oh, yay. Not to make a corny joke, but we're nuts about you, Colin.


MOLLY BLOOM: So, Colin, was there a moment that really decided things for squirrels?

COLIN: Well, to think back, I really did hear the emotion from crows, but I'm really more about the comedy and the upbeat-ness I guess of squirrels and Maria.

MOLLY BLOOM: And your sister was pooped on by a crow.

COLIN: That is true. And if I crowned crows the winner, she would have yelled at me.

MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah. Family trauma runs deep. Megan, I'd like to give you caw-gratulations for your lovely argument in favor of crows and your beautiful Edgar Allen Poe poem-- Edgar Allen Poe poem.


Edgar Allen Poe poem.

MEGAN WOLF: Maria, even I know that I would be in the front row for Hot Squirrel Summer. Of course I would. Who wouldn't be? It's going to be the next hottest ticket on Broadway.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Oh, imagine that squirrel in a little blonde wig. It's so good.


MOLLY BLOOM: Well, that is it for today's debate battle. Colin crowned squirrels the Smash Boom Best, But what about you?

COLIN: Head to and vote to tell us who you think won.

MOLLY BLOOM: Smash Boom Best is brought to you by Brains On and APM Studios.


Megan, is there anyone you'd like to give a shout out to today?

MEGAN WOLF: I want to give a shout out to my podcast co-host Maria.


MOLLY BLOOM: That's so nice. And how about you, Maria? Any special shout outs.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Well, I can't think of anyone, but I suppose I'll give a shout out to my podcast co-host Megan.


MOLLY BLOOM: And how about you, Colin? Any special thanks or shout outs?

COLIN: I'd like to give a shout out to my mom and also to my friends at school, Maddie and Raylan.

MOLLY BLOOM: Very nice. Before we go, let's check in and see who Isaac thinks should win the Lord of the Rings versus Harry Potter debate.

ISAAC: I think Lord of the Rings would win because Gandalf says, "You shall not pass."

MOLLY BLOOM: If you are between the ages of 13 and 18 and you'd like to be a judge, or if you're any age and you have an idea for a knock down drag out debate, head to and drop us a line, and make sure to subscribe to Brains On Universe on YouTube where you can watch animated versions of some of your favorite episodes. We'll be back with a news Smash Boom Best debate battle next week.

COLIN: Sayonara.

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Bye. Squirrel, I'm gonna I miss you.



SUBJECT: (SINGING) I am the Smash Boom Best

I'll put you through the test

I am the Smash Boom Best

I'm better than the rest

It's the Smash Boom Best

It's the Smash Boom Best

MARIA BARTHOLDI: Oh, I am pumped up. Let's go.

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